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July 12. 2013 8:50PM

NH business ranking hurt by slow recovery

New Hampshire dropped eight places from last year to finish 27th overall in the annual CNBC ranking of America’s top states for business.

“The Granite State’s economy has barely budged compared to its New England neighbors,” according to the analysis by the business-oriented television network.

“That hurts the state’s finances, and pushes the state down to 43rd from 34th in our important economy category. And what little recovery there is has managed to hurt New Hampshire in a category where it usually excels: quality of life. The state drops to ninth place from last year’s first-place tie with Hawaii, largely due to declining air quality from congested highways and neighborhoods near the Massachusetts border.”

Massachusetts jumped 12 places in the rankings, climbing to 16th place overall for 2013, up from 28th place last year.

“Massachusetts owes most of its improvement to a jump in the economy category, where it improved to third place from 21st last year, thanks to solid growth and an improving housing market,” according to CNBC. “State finances are stable and Massachusetts offers a diverse industrial base. Massachusetts also saw significant improvements in infrastructure, workforce and business friendliness.”

The top states in overall rankings were South Dakota, Texas, North Dakota and Nebraska. Utah and Virginia tied for fifth. The bottom five were Nevada, California, West Virginia, Rhode Island and Hawaii.

New Hampshire’s best rating was 2nd in the education category; its worst was 45th in infrastructure.

All 50 states were scored on 51 measures of competitiveness developed with input from business groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Competitiveness. States received points based on their rankings in each metric.

“Then, we separated those metrics into 10 broad categories, weighting the categories based on how frequently they are cited in state economic development marketing materials. That way, our study ranks the states based on the criteria they use to sell themselves,” according to the CNBC report.



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